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U.S. expects Tiaoyutai dispute to be resolved peacefully

ROC Central News Agency

2012/08/06 14:44:20

Taipei, Aug. 6 (CNA) The United States expects the territorial dispute over the Tiaoyutai Islands to be addressed through peaceful means, a U.S. official said Monday, one day after Taiwan proposed a peace initiative for the contested East China Sea area.

"We don't take a position on the question of the ultimate sovereignty of Tiaoyutai Islands, we expect claimants to resolve the issue through peaceful means among themselves," said Sheila Paskman, chief of the Public Diplomacy Section of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT).

Asked whether peaceful means include the East China Sea Peace Initiative proposed by President Ma Ying-jeou one day earlier, Paskman said the U.S. will not tell any claimant how to resolve the issue.

However, Washington expects the dispute can be resolved peacefully, said the official with the AIT, which represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of bilateral diplomatic ties.

Taiwan, Japan and China have been involved in heated disputes due to competing territorial claims over the Tiaoyutai Islands for several years. Located in the resource-rich East China Sea, the island group is known as the Diaoyutai Islands in China and the Senkaku Islands in Japan.

Highlighting the need for a peace initiative, Ma urged all parties to refrain from taking antagonistic action, to shelve their differences, to not abandon dialogue, to observe international law and to resolve the dispute via peaceful means.

All sides should also seek consensus on a code of conduct for the East China Sea, and establish a mechanism for cooperation on exploring and developing resources in the region, Ma added.

Ma made the proposal of a peace initiative Sunday at an occasion marking the 60th anniversary of a peace treaty signed between the Republic of China and Japan following the Second Sino-Japanese War.

His remarks come at a time when the Japanese government is moving toward nationalizing the Tiaoyutais.

(By Emmanuelle Tzeng and Elaine Hou)

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